San Francisco Stories and Tips

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Photo, San Francisco, California

BART is the Bay Area's subway, moving people around in a quick, clean, comfortable, and air-conditioned cars when it's working properly. When it's rush hour, you may end up standing in a crowded car.

There are system maps in every car to track your progress as you go by the stations. The stations may be underground or overhead, depending on how built-up the area is.

It helps relieve traffic on the overly congested streets and freeways. Some stations offer parking. Cost is based on distance. As fuel costs increase, BART is a viable alternative. Bicycles are permitted within limitations.

They offer a great travel tool for people with PDAs with the downloadable program QuickPlanner.

The best value of your BART fare is to go to a retail vendor selling blue, high-value BART tickets, such as Long's Drugs and Safeway supermarkets.

Each rider must have their own ticket unless they're under 5 years old.

The schedule varies depending on the line, station, and day of week, but generally service ends at midnight.

There are escalators and elevators available, but they are not always working. For status, call +1.510.834.LIFT or (888) 235-3828.

BART now goes to San Francisco International Airport next to the International Terminal. Go take the Air Train to get to the Domestic Terminal or allow about 30 minutes to walk to the terminal.


BART when they were still in the planning stages in instead of using Caltrain's existing track network chose building a much more expensive custom track and not utilizing existing rolling stock and built customized cars which brings the cost and maintenance significantly much higher than it needed to be. Nor had the vision of merging with Caltrain and creating an intermodal transport hub under one "rooftop" of what the Transbay Terminal was in the earlier 20th century.


Phone 511 or (415) 989-2278

Take the Transit Trip Planner

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